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We have baggage, and it’s not ours. It’s society’s baggage. We are told what to think. What to wear. What to say. Do these and you’ll be valued. I believed this baggage was acceptable, and I struggled with it. I did my absolute best to be acceptable. I made myself appear softer through glitter and glam. I traded my curly crown for straightened locks. My love for all things anime, manga, and sci-fi were forced on social media updates about the latest trends. I refused to say no, allowing people to see me as nice and gentle. Did I look like I was happy with who I was? Absolutely! But in a flood of people and underneath it all, I was miserable. I searched my value in the eyes of others. How people saw it was how I saw myself. The gag was that I had value all along. 


Woman with shopping bags
Photo by freestocks from Unsplash

It took one psychology class to dismantle all the things I believed I needed to be. “We’re taught to play a role in society, believe it, and carry all the bags that come with that role”. That statement took me for the existential ride of my life as one question continued to pop up. Who did I want to be? When I decided to be who I was and wanted to be, I ripped off my costume. 

Society gives us baggage, but we have a choice of whether or not we chose to carry it. We can accept it as our own or refuse it. This is me refusing, and I am not sorry. Neither should you be. 

 

This piece was inspired by Brittany Cooper’s book (Eloquent Rage).

 

Caitlin Mercier

Louisiana Tech '22

I am fourth year in the doctoral Counseling Psychology program at Louisiana Tech University. I love reading, writing, and cooking. Fun fact: I am a vegan!
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